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5 Easy Ways to Free Up Windows 10 Disk Space (Without a Third-Party Tool)

Your computer will usually get slower when the storage is running out of space. Windows 10 has some built-in features that you can use to free up the disk space on your computer. This article will show you how to use those features. Before getting started, you can analyze the disk usage of your Windows 10 computer to find out which partitions are running out of space and what kind of files and apps consume more space.

Here are 5 easy ways to free up disk space on Windows 10 without using a third-party tool.

Method 1: Delete temporary files

Some Windows 10 apps might create temporary files when running. Often time, the files are not completely removed even when the apps stop running. You can manually delete them to reclaim the storage space. To do so, you can open Windows Settings by clicking the gear icon on the start menu or press the Windows+I keys on the keyboard. On the Windows Settings main screen, click System and then select Storage -> Temporary files.

As you can see in the image above, there is about 17 GB storage space taken by temporary files. To remove them, you can simply click the Remove files button. From here, you can also remove other unused files like files on Recycle Bin, files on the Downloads folder, and so on. You can tick the options to delete files on Recycle Bin or files on the Downloads folder.

Method 2: Empty the Recycle Bin

When you delete a file on Windows, the file is not really deleted. Instead, Windows just move it to a folder called Recycle Bin. The file will really be deleted when you remove it from this folder. Since the file you “deleted” is still around on your computer (on the Recycle Bin folder in this case), it takes the storage space portion as well. Thus, emptying the Recycle Bin is another great option to free your disk space.

First, open Recycle Bin. Once you are there, right-click an empty space and select Empty Recycle Bin.

Or, if you enable the Recycle Bin desktop icon, you can right-click the icon and select Empty Recycle Bin.

Method 3: Enable Storage Sense

Storage Sense is a built-in feature of Windows 10 that automatically free up disk space by removing unnecessary files like temporary files and files on Recycle Bin. This feature is disabled by default. To turn it on, you can open Windows Settings. Go to System -> Storage. Simply toggle the switch.

To configure the Storage Sense, you can click the Configure Storage Sense or run it now link beneath the switch. You can set when the Storage Sense should run and schedule the cleanup of the temporary files.

Method 4: Run Disk Cleanup

Windows has a built-in disk cleanup feature that you can also use to free up disk space. The function of this feature is pretty similar to Storage Sense, but the cleanup process is done manually and you can select a drive to clean up. To use Windows built-in disk cleanup feature, click This PC on File Explorer. Select a drive you want to clean up. Right-click and select Properties. On the General tab on the Properties window, click the Disk Cleanup button.

Select the types of files you want to delete and click the Clean up system files button.

If you want it, you can also schedule a disk cleanup using Task Scheduler.

Method 5: Uninstall unneeded apps

In the intro section, we suggested you analyze the disk space usage to find out which apps take more disk space on your computer. If you think the apps that take more space are no longer needed, you can remove them to reclaim the space. You can uninstall Windows apps via Control Panel, Windows Settings or start menu (right-click and select Uninstall)

The bottom line

If your Windows 10 computer has very limited storage, scanning duplicate files — such as photos or videos which typically have a larger size than other file types — is also a great idea. However, you need a third-party tool to do so as Windows 10 has no default feature to scan and remove duplicate files.

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